” . . . But the administration would be foolish to suppose the surge will recede on its own. The years of relative economic prosperity in Mexico that, for a time, led to a net outflow of Mexican migrants from the U.S. are over, thanks to a combination of drug cartels, a pandemic and the misgovernance of its inept populist president. Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua are failing states. A “Plan Colombia”-style package of security assistance could help. But it will cost billions and probably take a decade for its effects to be felt.
In the meantime, the United States risks a version of the European migration crisis of 2015. That’s the one that contributed heavily to the Brexit vote, turbocharged the rise of far-right parties like France’s National Front and the Alternative for Germany, and paved the way to Trump’s election.
There’s little question that our own migration crisis is a political boon for immigration restrictionists. The wonder is why a serious Democratic administration would aid and abet their cause.
It’s also putting the interests of comprehensive immigration reform further out of reach. Congress has not passed a significant immigration bill in over three decades. Joe Biden came to office with an opportunity to get a bipartisan accord, but no Republican will sign on to legislation that widens the doors to legal immigrants, much less one that offers some form of amnesty to illegal ones, without a serious plan for border security. Nothing accomplishes that more visibly than a wall.
For Democrats, that’s an opportunity to defuse the political bomb Republicans would love to plant right under them. And it’s a jobs-creating infrastructure program to boot.
Will a wall solve all of our immigration problems? Hardly. It will take years to build, and some practical, regulatory and legal hurdles might be hard to surmount. But for anyone who hopes for America to remain a proud nation of immigrants, it has to be a part of the solution.” -30-
David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Thank you Bret for daring to think this through. You are right that if Biden isn’t stronger on illegal immigration, he will hand the government back to the Trumpsters. I don’t agree we should finish the wall with steel and bricks, that would be an environmental disaster. But I do agree that Biden has to secure the border, or probably lose power in the next few elections.
The list of reforms is daunting, but not impossible. We need e-verification of workers, and enforce that businesses can’t use illegals without permission and worker protections. We need to legalize or decriminalize all addictive drugs, to stop the gross drug war profits from destabilizing governments on both sides of the wall. As well as a US Marshall plan against climate change and to create new jobs in the US, we need another to help our neighbors to the south. We need to amend the 14th amendment, so you can’t gain citizenship here simply by being born here by either illegals, guest workers, or tourists. Family planning and zero or negative population growth are going to have to part of US foreign and domestic policy, to reduce humans to a sustainable number, and make room for other species, that are disappearing at an alarming rate.
You are right that Biden should finish the wall, but he should do it with all the ideas above, not physical barriers that will cause more endangered species to die off.
David Lindsay Jr is the author of the Tay Son Rebellion about Vietnam, and blogs at InconvenientNews.Net.